Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For sale: 2007 Mazdaspeed 3

Sometimes I've been known to actually *sell* cars. Especially if they're not mine. (And thus, not affecting the car count.)

It's a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3: An extraordinarily fun bundle of joy, and it's also a darned practical 5-door hatch. Definitely on my short list for The Only Car You'll Ever Need. If I had more space, I'd definitely be doing some splainin' to Lucy right about now.

Previously owned by these internet titans. Such provenance! Definitely a better deal than Sergey's old Prius that turned up on eBay.

Asking $16.5K. Craigslist ad here. Mention this post for special discounts and lease financing terms. :-)

For Sale: 2007 Mazdaspeed 3


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Nia Sykes Out of Oakland

You madam, are an idiot. Protest anywhere you like, but please riot in your own little room.
Protesters smashed the storefronts of McDonald's as well as stores called Creative African Braids and Oakland Yoon's Pharmacy. Cars along 14th Street were smashed, and some were set ablaze.

A woman walked out of Creative African Braids holding a baby in her arms.

"This is our business," she shouted. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?"

Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, a protester who was with the group, said, "I feel like the night is going great. I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back.
Sykes had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

"She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said.

Added 1/9/2008: SF Chronicle has published Nia Sykes' response to the article, which has since been syndicated worldwide.
"I do not advocate violence"

Editor - Regarding "Protests over BART shooting turn violent" (Jan. 8): I was dismayed to see that I was quoted grossly out of context. I spoke to the reporter for several minutes and they used only portions from the interview to make it seem as if I was condoning violence, which is not at all the case.

I was a part of the peaceful rally that began at 3 p.m. at the Fruitvale BART Station, where Oscar Grant was murdered. I said that the peaceful protest was "great"- not the destruction of property! Some of us continued to downtown Oakland, but I was not a part of the faction of protesters that became violent. I do not advocate violence at all, from police or the protesters, nor did I have any part of it. In fact, when I saw people vandalizing property, I moved to another block, where I was interviewed by the reporter.

I only became aware of the woman whose shop was damaged after the reporter informed me of it. I am sorry that her shop as well as other individuals' and businesses were vandalized.

I am saddened too, that The Chronicle chose to make this article solely about race. The protests were about the execution-style shooting of an unarmed man by the BART police. The protesters who came were of all races: black, white, Asian and Latino.

San Francisco


Friday, January 02, 2009

Loving the sushi nazi

I just finished reading "Fish out of water," a glowing cover story review of Sebo sushi restaurant, in San Francisco Magazine. (Yes it's a rather upscale publication in its current incarnation; maybe next time we'll talk about the latest issue of Robb Report.)

Sebo sounds like a nice place, the folks running the place sound cool, and I'd like to eat there sometime. I hope the place does well, and the article (likewise an earlier Vanity Fair -- another refined pub, kinda? -- piece on Tsukiji) is a really interesting, thorough exploration of the sushi-industrial complex.

This part got me a giant-geoduck-clam-sized head slap, though:
Few cuisines are as bound by custom and etiquette as sushi. Plug the word into any search engine, and you’ll come upon dozens of sites listing rules for eating it: Don’t rub your chopsticks together; dip the fish, not the rice, into the soy sauce; put the nigiri into your mouth fish side down and eat it in a single bite. It doesn’t help that chefs at some of the more traditional sushi bars often take a defensive stance against their customers (...) There are plenty of people who relish the intimidation and enjoy the challenge of mastering a purposefully opaque food culture. Me? I’d rather order a pizza.
Gah. Of course it's intimidating. It's, like, foreign. And the sushi chefs have pride.

Take an average Japanese person and imagine how intimidating a formal Western dinner would be to her: Do I sit down from left or right? Can I break the bread with my mouth? Can I pour ketchup on that fish? Is slurping OK? The last I checked, L'atelier de Joel Robuchon in Tokyo does not hold customer hands through these questions.

Actually that's a totally dumb comparison, because an average Japanese person would probably have done lots of how-to research before going into that Michelin 2-star, so it's a nonissue. You just don't hear about gauche Japanese behavior perpetrated upon Western restaurants nowadays, and that speaks volumes about their attitudes about foreign customs and how they embrace them in appropriate situations.

Sushi has been popular in the West Coast for, what, like 30 years now? How is it that we still hear these provincial complaints about how opaque and difficult its surrounding customs are? Why *are* people still rubbing chopsticks together?

I, for one, welcome our ganko overlords. User-friendly is for P.F. Chang. (The article also refers to a recent WSJ coverage on sushi bullies, another fun read.)